Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Kōkaku Kidōtai

Ghost in the Shell

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Set in the fictional Newport City, a female cyborg and elite assault team leader, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is sent by the Public Security Section to track down a hacker known as the Puppet Master, who “ghost hacks” other people’s minds and manipulates them. When the security team captures him, a rival government agency also lays claim to the body in which the Puppet Master was operating. To trace its origins, Kusanagi “dives into” the other shell and their two personalities merge ... The plot of Ghost in the Shell uses lyrical and philosophical passages to configure a love story between an electronic mind and a prosthetic body. Hugo Gernsback defined the genre as “a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision”. The film also examines the consequences for human identity of a global data network and the potential for new life forms within that “world wide web”. Critics in Japan called the film an “expression of the Japanese search for identity in a time of crisis”. In the US, it inspired the Matrix trilogy, although as a political thriller with a cyberpunk attitude, it is more in tune with Blade Runner.

Mamoru Oshii

Japan 1995


83 min · Colour · 2K DCP

Rating R16


Mamoru Oshii
Kazunori Itō, based on the manga “Kōkaku Kidōtai” (1989/91) by Masamune Shirō
Director of Photography
Hisao Shirai
Shûichi Kakesu
Kenji Kawai
Kazuhiro Wakabayashi
Special Effects
Takashi Murakami
Art Director
Hiromasa Ogura
Toshihiko Nishikubo
Yoshimasa Mizuo, Ken Matsumoto, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa

DCP: Manga Entertainment, London